15 greatest Minnesota Vikings running backs of all-time

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook
Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 14

Michael Bennett (2001 - 2005)

Stats with Vikings:

  • 64 games (49 starts)
  • 3,174 rushing yards (4.5 yards per carry)
  • 12 rushing touchdowns
  • 126 catches, 1,040 receiving yards (8.3 yards per catch)
  • 5 receiving touchdowns
  • 1 Pro Bowl selection (2002)

After a surprise retirement by Robert Smith after the 2000 season, the Vikings found themselves in need of a new starting running back in 2001.

To help make up for the loss of Smith, Minnesota decided to use their first-round selection in the 2001 NFL Draft on former Wisconsin running back Michael Bennett. The Vikings fell in love with Bennett's elite speed (4.38-second 40-time), and they believed he could add another element to an offense that already featured Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper.

After a decent rookie season, Bennett exploded in 2002, as he gained 1,647 yards from scrimmage (1,296 rushing yards and 351 receiving yards) and scored six touchdowns. His performance that season resulted in the only Pro Bowl selection of his career.

Bennett remained in Minnesota for three more years until he signed with the New Orleans Saints during the 2006 offseason.